natural miscarriage (also called expectant management) is when the baby or tissue passes on its own. This can start at any time and be complete within hours or it could take several weeks. If you choose the natural miscarriage option, expect cramps and bleeding like a very heavy period. You can take acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (e.g., Advil®) for the pain (unless your doctor has told you not to or of you are allergic to the medicine).
Another option is the medical management of miscarriage. To induce contractions, a
medicine called misoprostol is put in the vagina and can be done at home. When misoprostol is used, the cramping is different for everyone. For some it feels like period cramps, while for others the cramps are stronger and painful. If you have really bad pain, contact your healthcare provider.
The third option is a dilation and curettage or
D&C, a short procedure done in the operating room with sedation by a gynecologist. The cervix is dilated and a special instrument is used to scrape the uterine lining. After the procedure you’ll feel a little sleepy, and experience some cramping and bleeding. Women can go home on the same day.
After an induction or D&C, you can expect some light bleeding/spotting for up to 2–3 weeks. Keep using sanitary pads—don’t use tampons or put anything in the vagina. It’s important to keep your genital area clean by using a spray bottle to rinse with clean water and changing your pads often. Don’t go in a swimming pool or hot tub if you’re still bleeding or have vaginal discharge. Showers and short baths are fine.
Current as of: August 18, 2017
Author: Women’s Health, Alberta Health Services
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